Pulling back on Peel split ‘the right decision’ for taxpayers in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon: Mayor Brown

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Published December 6, 2023 at 10:02 am

region of peel mississauga brampton caledon split

News that the province may walk back plans to break up the Region of Peel was welcomed by Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, who is standing by his criticism of what he calls a bad deal for taxpayers.

“It’s never the wrong time to make the right decision,” Brown said on CBC on Wednesday when speaking about reports that Premier Doug Ford may reverse plans to split Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon into stand-alone municipalities.

Brown has been opposed to the dissolution since it was announced in May, raising concerns about the cost of the plan which he calls a “financial train wreck” that could result in a 38 per cent tax hike for taxpayers.

And on Tuesday, Brown and a union representing members of Peel Paramedics Services sounded the alarm over a possible “mass exodus” of first responders from Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon due to job insecurity related to the split.

“So when we have our key first responders saying lives are at risk, that should cause people to rethink this,” Brown said.

While Brown says the split will comes with a $1.3 billion cost to tax payers and lead to the largest tax increase in the Region’s history, outgoing Mississauga Mayor and Ontario Liberal Leader Bonnie Crombie reaffirmed her support of the split this week accusing Brown of making a “desperate attempt” to “derail” the dissolution.

With Crombie now in the provincial political ring, Brown said she should “fight for everyone in Ontario” and not play favourites with Mississauga if the numbers show the deal will hurt other municipalities.

Brown says Crombie “didn’t do her homework” on the split, and pointed to former Mississauga city manager and Region of Peel CAO Janice Baker’s opposition to the break-up as further evidence the deal needs to be scrapped.

The province championed the split as a way to reduce duplication in municipal and regional governments and speed up housing projects. But Brown says the process has actually slowed developments and “would actually impair housing” in Brampton.

Caledon Mayor Annette Groves echoed Brown, saying it would “be encouraging if the province rethought the dissolution of Peel Region.”

“There are too many unknown costs to fully understand the true impact to taxpayers if Peel dissolves. It is also uncertain how dissolution will negatively impact the Town’s ability to reach its housing pledge and the provincial goal to build 1.5 million new homes,” she said in a post on social media.

Late Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion fought the province for that city’s independence for years, with Ford promising before her death he would see the plan through.

Ford is expected to give an update on the Region of Peel dissolution by the end of the week.

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